Thursday, 9 June 2011

Apples and Oranges...

To compare one human to another does not serve a great purpose. Neither does comparing one person's experience to another. Not only does it serve no purpose, but you truly can not compare at all. There are a multitude of factors that come into play, yet there is no 'formula' that will put together all the factors and create a 'rating' or some such. For example: the grief I feel about my mum's death cannot be compared with the loss of my baby Dylan... it's Apples and Oranges. I ache when thinking about either of these, but they are different, yet the same... Difficult to explain..
I was discussing with a few people about the death of loved ones and how some people think that in the case of a slow death like Cancer which gives a chance to say goodbye, is 'better' than a shock instant death nobody saw coming. Death, whether predicted or surprise, is sad, scary, awful and horrifying. No one person's death can be compared in measured grief (and I must say grief can not be measured), yet I think there are a lot of people who don't realise this. They think what they have experienced is worse than anybody else's experience. And personally what does upset me is that going back to the first point I raised in this paragraph where people have said to me "You were lucky to say goodbye". WTF?? Saying goodbye to my mum makes her death less painful?? Not at all. And I'm not saying it would've been 'better' if she'd died in a car accident. There is no such thing as a 'better' death. It is all painful, and the pain never goes away, we just become 'better' at 'managing' it.
The same can be said of the age of the person at their death. Whether it is a still born baby, a teenager, a fifty year old or a ninety year old. All these deaths leave family and friends behind. People who loved, cared and supported this being.  All these deaths cause distress, grief, anger, upset and hopelessness. You cannot compare. Apples and Oranges.
Sorry that this post so far has discussed a lot of death. I will move away from the morbid..
Our children are Apples and Oranges. Every single one of them. Yet parents can't help but compare and I feel it takes away from the magic that is each of our individual children. I mean it is nice to be proud and announce achievements of our off spring, but sometimes people take it a bit too far, not realising the people they may be hurting in the process. I felt this for the first few months of Liam's life, when we didn't know Liam had Cerebral Palsy. I had a friend whose child was born a month after Liam. We would meet up every few weeks for coffee and a playdate. As time went by my friend would be sprouting off all these awesome things her son could do and I was left feeling sad and down. After a year I couldn't watch as her son developed at great speed and Liam was still my little baby, so our playdates dwindled. But luckily I had the Special Needs playgroup we went to, to feel 'normal'. Which is where I still go to this day, my place of solace, my 'safehouse', because there I feel my life is 'normal' and my children aren't 'different'.
One subject I am confident I know you can't compare.. 'Diffability'. With both of my sons and their diagnoses I am feeling all the same emotions, but you cannot compare the two.  A lot of people may say "But Jack can do more than Liam, his diagnosis is not as bad"... err what?? Jack is Jack, and Liam is Liam. I love them equally and will have my moments of grief with either when those gentle reminders of their 'diffability' pop up, just as much as the other. The difficult aspects of their 'diffability' cannot be compared either, as with any person. A lady once said to me "Jack will be more difficult than Liam".. huh?!? How do you figure that? They are both male so I'm going with the whole, they are both going to be difficult hahahahahahahaha.  I will also celebrate their achievements as individuals, with no comparison to each of them or to anyone else. I call these PB's.. personal bests. I try to do this for myself also. So instead of thinking: "Oh but so and so can do this or that, why can't I?" , I shall focus on what I have achieved and what I can attempt to achieve that I'm comfortable with. No need to 'keep up with the Joneses'.
Ok so I hope this post helps in letting know that you are all important, you all have lives that are filled with significant experiences and that not one of us is the same. Oh and it is crap pointless to compare.

1 comment:

theKatieKitten said...

Beautiful post.
Sort of like the 'Holland Poem'.... maybe you could blog about it, I know when you shared it with me, it helped give me another perspective.
I am always inspired by your take on your lot, and by your strength and perspective xoxo